Flames shoot out in the dim light, illuminating the rapidly falling night with an entrancing, uneven glow. There's a certain beauty in destruction. All things eventually fall to ruin; watching the death of a thing is almost a solemn experience. Explosions press against hard metal, bending and ripping it, melting and shattering it. Water rushes into the newly formed cracks in the external structure, air rushing out from wherever it can as the inlet claims another victim. Within seconds the small craft is flooded and the fires go out. Only small explosions continue as whatever oxygenated fuel left seeks to end its life with a bang and not a whimper. And then, silence. All resistance ceases, and the ship gives itself to watery embrace.All this, and not a single eye could bear witness to its last moments, not a single soul able to give solemn observation as it sinks below. The ship is not alone in its death, after all, and those that might watch are fighting not to join it in the depths. “Telebot! On your right!”“SHIT!”
>>31457092A mechanized beast, an artificial creation with numerous razor-sharp appendages. It glows with an unearthly light as mechanisms unknown whir with unnatural life. The telebot slices through water as though it were air, rushing toward a vaguely human figure. Just as its slicing tentacles come into range, a sharp rod plunges into its body, puncturing complex components and grinding gears to a halt. Water rushes to claim as much space as it can, shorting what the rod could not kill, and the machine joins the ships in silent death.The figure is much less silent.“We've gotta get out of this shit, Cookie!” she exclaims, voice transmitted by an enhanced radio piece in her ear.“I told you not to call me that,” you reply, swinging your own weapon around to track a telebot that has yet to spot any of you. You pull the trigger on your speargun, letting loose another sharpened metal rod. It fights against the water, losing some of its deadly force by the time it contacts the telebot. A lucky shot; it pierces the waterproofing protection of the creature. A few sparks and spasms later, it joins its brother in a lifeless decent to the bottom. You slot in another round.“You're fine with it when Odessa calls you that,” your friend protests.“Odessa's also got some confidence issues, Rae. Do you?” you reply.“Yeah. Tons of them. I'm shaking in my magic metal boots.” Rae Caulders doesn't sound like she has issues. At least, topical ones.
>>31457121You sigh. “Alright. We've blown up enough of these ships in dock to cause a huge distraction. No need to get torn up by these damned robots. Fall back, fall back!” You get acknowledgments from all three of your comrades. Luckily the telebots seem to be fine with your retreat. Uncharacteristic behavior for them; the vicious machines usually chase down their targets with reckless abandon. You pause. That's really not right. “Rae, what do you-” you begin, cutting yourself off quickly as an unseen telebot rushes right past you. Ok. That's seriously not right.You scan your surroundings. Boser, recognizable from her scratched up and battered helmet, is swimming right towards you. Rae and Ogawa, your other comrade, are nowhere to be seen.“Rae! Ogawa! Get out, you're too deep in!” you yell. Dammit! Rae was right next to you, where the hell is she? “I'm coming, I'm coming!” Rae yelled angrily. “That may be a problem,” comes Ogawa's cool voice. “Ogawa!” You grit your teeth. Ogawa. You've fucked that girl up enough as it is. “Dammit,” you curse. Time to make a dumb decision.You turn around and bolt back toward the wrecked ships and telebots. There are scores of the deadly machines clustered by a wrecked pier...but they seem to be rather preoccupied. You can see the silhouette of a substriker leg unit drift downward, illuminated by the deadly glow of the telebot swarm. Ogawa.[ ] Is she in the swarm? Save her![ ] That's just a leg unit. Sneak around.
>>31457092kota go home
The story so far: http://pastebin.com/p073wazjPastebin: http://pastebin.com/u/laoshanlongTwitter: @laoshanlongLet's get this party started.
>>31457092It's actually happening, holy shit.>>31457151>[x] Is she in the swarm? Save her!
[ ] Is she in the swarm? Save her!
>>31457151[X] Is she in the swarm? Save her!
>>31457151>[x] Is she in the swarm? Save her!
>>31457185You first!>>31457272Always bet on DukeI'll be trying to get back into the groove of things here, so please be kind. Trying to figure out how I should format things and how quickly I ought to be updating this time around. 20 minutes between posts was...well, hmm.
>>31457373How long of a haitus has it been?
>>31457509Roughly a year. Since then I wrote a short story (that this is picking up from) and had a few short IRC sessions. Not sure if I'm going to use them or not.
>>31457151>[x ] Is she in the swarm? Save her!
That was her leg unit, you're sure of it. And those bots wouldn't be swarming for nothing. If that's Ogawa....You dash forward, slicing through the water as your Substriker hums. You're going fast. Way too fast. The cluster of bots is rapidly approaching. They mimic a school of fish...or a swarm of piranhas. You can only get the vaguest look at the focus of their swirling as you prepare to crash into their ranks. Your eyes catch a second unit before your helmet clangs with metallic contact. The unsuspecting telebot crumples as your magically-reinforced head smashes through.The water echos with the screeches of tens of bots, each of their limbs extending a deadly cutting blade. They stare at you for a moment, the shattered remains of their comrade drifting slowly to the floor below. A second later, they lunge. “Ogawa! Ogawa!” you cry out, trying desperately to spot her as you struggle to dodge the machines. They move like squids, swinging their razor tentacles this way and that. The blades cut into the arcane shield that protects you from the immense pressures of the depths, longing to sink into your flesh and rip you to pieces. Several get too close for comfort.
>>31457743>Oh wow, that's shitty formatting. Have this one.That was her leg unit, you're sure of it. And those bots wouldn't be swarming for nothing. If that's Ogawa....You dash forward, slicing through the water as your Substriker hums. You're going fast. Way too fast. The cluster of bots is rapidly approaching. They mimic a school of fish...or a swarm of piranhas. You can only get the vaguest look at the focus of their swirling as you prepare to crash into their ranks. Your eyes catch a second unit before your helmet clangs with metallic contact. The unsuspecting telebot crumples as your magically-reinforced head smashes through.The water echos with the screeches of tens of bots, each of their limbs extending a deadly cutting blade. They stare at you for a moment, the shattered remains of their comrade drifting slowly to the floor below. A second later, they lunge. “Ogawa! Ogawa!” you cry out, trying desperately to spot her as you struggle to dodge the machines. They move like squids, swinging their razor tentacles this way and that. The blades cut into the arcane shield that protects you from the immense pressures of the depths, longing to sink into your flesh and rip you to pieces. Several get too close for comfort.
>>31457759 You can't sit here and do nothing. Your spear gun has only one shot and the torpedo launcher is useless at such close range. You pull out your combat knife, slicing at the bot in front of you. Its tentacle is surprisingly soft, yielding to your sharpened blade as it's severed in two. You follow through, your gloves nicked by miscellaneous grinding parts as you plunge your knife into its core. There's a whining sound and a surprisng amount of torque applied to you as it dies. Its dying action is to twist you upside down.One down, fifteen to go.[ ] You're going to kill every last one of these abominations.[ ] Fifteen to one is insanity. You've got to get to shore.
>>31457759Talk about using your head. Yuck yuck.
Fifteen to one is insanity, but we can't just leave now that we're here.
>>31457778[x] Kill them all let the brassholes sort them out
>>31457778[ ] You're going to kill every last one of these abominations.
>>31457778[x] You're going to kill every last one of these abominations. There's more abominations what need killin' than horses need stealin', I always say.
>>31457835aye, damned if we do, damned if we don't.
They swirl and dart, swinging their blades this way and that. One or two manage to cut hard enough to draw blood before being repulsed by your shield. You curse; you never liked paper cuts. And you never liked squids. You slice a particularly dimwitted bot as he tries to circle around you. Waterproofing ruined, it sparks and dies. Huh. These things must be cheap if they're that easily hurt. As another tentacle clangs on your helmet, you're not entirely sure if that's comforting.Slash. Stab. Dodge. Kick and elbow. Slash again. You dispatch another pair of bots, the count down to twelve. One bot spins at incredible speed, slamming its blade through your shield and slicing your arm. “Aaaarrrrrrgh!!” you cry out, gritting your teeth. How deep did it get? Half an inch? An inch? You can't tell in this lighting. As your blood disperses into the water, it stings something fierce. The bot seems to laugh at you smugly. You wipe that figurative grin off its face with a much less figurative slash. The joke's on you, however; your knife chips.“Cook, Cook! Where are you, you alright?” “I'm...I'm fine, Rae. Stay back, there's a ton of them!” you warn.“And you can handle it yourself!?” she protests.[ ] ...No. But you're not going to let her get caught in this too.[ ] Yes. You're the leader for a reason.
>>31458214>[x] ...No. But you're not going to let her get caught in this too.She'll be coming anyways, I can feel it.
>>31458214>[ x] ...No. But you're not going to let her get caught in this too.
>>31458214>[x] ...No. But you're not going to let her get caught in this too.
>>31458214[x] Yes. You're the leader for a reason.
>>31458214>[x] ...No. But you're not going to let her get caught in this too.We set sail, gentlemen. Now we must live with the results. Arrrg.
>>31458214>[ ] ...No. But you're not going to let her get caught in this too.
“Of course not, you idiot! But I'm not going to let you get sliced up too!” you yell angrily, trying to jam your knife into another telebot. It doesn't stab cleanly, catching on its metallic shell. The bot takes another bit of your knife's sharp edge with it. It's not going to last much longer. You toss it aside, nearly useless.“I'm coming to get you!” Rae declares“No! I order you, Rae, stay back!” “Bullshit Cleo, I'm-!”“If you ignore the chain of command so help me god I will bring down the brass hammer so harrrrRRRGH!” You 'stagger' as a bot taks a leaf out of your book, ramming you with its head. It wraps its tentacles around you, squeezing as it tries to break you apart“Cleo!”“Stay away!”You grunt and groan. The exertion required to maintain your shield under this stress is draining you. A lot. And once you run out... The other bots join it, wrapping around you too. You can feel it. Your shield is straining. Cracks “appear” in the shield as the telebots snap hungrilyIs this it?Is this the end?Rae's voice echos in your head, as though it were coming from a distance and not the piece in your ear. Time seems to slow. Huh. Strange. You look down at your torso just in time. The shield gives way suddenly. You can see the tentacles begin to constrict in absurd slow motion. In a second, you'll be ripped apart. Just sitting back and letting it happen is tempting. You've been through so much. No one could blame you now.[ ] Relax. You've earned it.[ ] No.
>>31458911>[x] No. We will not go silently into the night. The night will have to drag us, kicking and screaming and fighting and LIVING, damnation and Hellfire, and that's not going to happen. We've never even got laid yet, damn it.
>>31458911>It wraps its tentacles around you, squeezing as it tries to break you apartLEWD[x] No.We're too sexy to die.
>>31458911>[x] No.NOT TODAY!
>>31458911>[x] No.>>31458963>We're too sexy to die.This.
>>31458911[x] No.We need to headpat Odessa more!
>>31459076And awkwardly flirt with our teammates?
Rae. Ogawa. Boser. Yetta. Miranda. Alice. All the people you've met. All the people you've befriended. The people you've hurt, the people you've saved. They flash through your head. Odessa. Socks. How would they feel if you disappeared? If you died? If you went away? “No!” You can't let that happen. You can't! Anger flows through you as a torrent of adrenaline floods your veins. Muscles tense. Blood boils. A thousand thoughts flash through your mind all at once, and in one miniscule fraction of a second- [GO AWAY!] You shudder as time speeds back up. The metal tentacles never reach you. As you blink, body returning to normal, you pant. What happened? Where are they? You look around, finding nothing but empty water around you. The remnants of the pier offer the only clue, a crater in its side. Like back on the Harbinger. “...hell happened? Cleo! Cleo!” “Ah. Rae.” “Cleo! What the hell!? Did you explode!?” “I'm...I'm not sure.” “Just...get the hell out, ok?” You look around. Ogawa's nowhere to be seen. “...Do you know where Ogawa is?” “No, we haven't seen or heard her. Cleo, get back here now.”[ ] ...No.[ ] Alright.
>>31459616[x] ...No.We need to find Ogawa; we're not going to let her sister down a second time.
>>31459616>[x] Alright.It's clearly been a few moments. If Ogawa was in the area, she would have been found.
>>31459616>...No.At least look after the explosion. If we can't find anything then lets book it but we did just clear out the guys looking for her.
>>31459616>[ ] ...No.Not yet
Alright, I'm calling votes now. Gosh darn it, you guys still love to set up ties.
You didn't risk your neck and get your arm sliced up for nothing. You're not going back now. Not without the younger Ogawa. Not without Natsumi. “Sorry, Rae. I went back for a reason. Stay there.” “Cleo!” “It's fine. Just look after Boser.” “...Fine. But you owe me drinks when we get back.” You laugh. That's the Rae you know, always leveraging for something to put in her mouth at others' expense. Then you groan. That slice isn't getting any better in the water. You give the area another look around, spotting the discarded leg units in the muck at the bottom. No blood. That means, hopefully, Ogawa wasn't in them when the bots got to them. But then...where? You follow the pier toward the shore, and you're glad you do. Tracks. Looks like someone heavy dragged themselves out of the water. Someone with round, metal feet. Ogawa. “I think I know where she went. I'm heading ashore.” Rae doesn't respond. Maybe she's realized she's not going to change your mind. Or maybe she's satisfied with getting drinks out of you. Oh well.
>>31460278 Sloppily, you drag yourself ashore, slowly prying off the leg units like Ogawa hopefully did. They make a thud in the sand as you toss them aside, enjoying the feeling of your feet being free. Whatever extradimensional space your legs go to when you're wearing the damn things isn't exactly the most pleasant spot. There's never any wind and it always feels...stuffy. You hop back to your feet as an explosion rocks the facility. Discarding your helmet, you tap your backpack to make sure it's still working and rush into the complex. There's just one question to answer now: What do you do?[ ] Find Natsumi Ogawa. She can't be doing well if she went ashore.[ ] Link up with the Marine Raiders. You can help save Harumi Ogawa and maybe even find Natsumi.[ ] Work independently. Waste no time search and get straight to causing another distraction. Maybe that'll help out both groups.
>>31460298[x] Find Natsumi Ogawa. She can't be doing well if she went ashore.
>>31460298>[x] Link up with the Marine Raiders. You can help save Harumi Ogawa and maybe even find Natsumi.
>>31460298[ ] Find Natsumi Ogawa. She can't be doing well if she went ashore.find the oogie boogie
>>31460298>[ ] Find Natsumi Ogawa. She can't be doing well if she went ashore.
>>31460298[x] Find Natsumi Ogawa. She can't be doing well if she went ashore.We've come this far with that one goal in mind, can't slow down now.
No need to complicate your plan now. Ogawa's somewhere on this rock, and you're going to find her. You open up a water-proof pouch on your leg, extracting a nice M1911 and a magazine. You've got two more in there, but you should still avoid conflict where you can. This place is hotter than hell and you're hurt. The Substriker backpack isn't made to function out of water, so who knows how long it'll last before overheating. You've got to make this as quick as possible. You dart into the nearest door, hoping Ogawa did the same. It was unlocked, so there's a decent chance. The room is lit, filled with miscellaneous crates (you assume; they don't look like crates you've seen, but they're nondescript and box-shaped) and equipment. You walk deeper into the room, spotting a door ajar. Huh. You peer inside, spotting two lumps in the shadows. You can't make them out, but they're awfully low to the ground.[ ] No chances. Shoot and then move in.[ ] Conserve ammo and stay silent. Open the door a bit.
>>31460908>[ ] Conserve ammo and stay silent. Open the door a bit.
>>31460908>[ ] Conserve ammo and stay silent. Open the door a bit.remember your CQC, snake.
Rolled 8>>31460908[x] Conserve ammo and stay silent. Open the door a bit.
>>31460908[x] Conserve ammo and stay silent. Open the door a bit.Let's also not go around shooting random things without identifying them first.
You slowly, cautiously open the door a bit more, allowing the light of the storage room to illuminate the lumps. Martians. Dead. They don't look like they've been shot, more...punctured? The sides of their heads look like they've been blown out...and their eyes don't look much better. What the hell happened here? Stepping into the room, your hand snakes along the wall as you look for a light switch. Ah, there it is. The room floods with its own light, revealing what looks like a pretty typical office area. Even has the old human typewriters stacked in the back. At least the Martians were neat when they took over the place. There's another door in the back. Nice, hard wood. Glass pane in the top, broken. You can smell smoke. You head over, peering through it. The hall goes on for about 10m before hitting a T intersection. Yours is the hall without a counterpart across the junction; you can't see a thing. The smoke seems to be coming from the left hallway. Just as you open the door, you hear an earth-shattering screech. Windows in similar doors along the hall shatter as you are forced to put your hands to your ears. It's like hell opened up in here.[ ] Retreat, this is too spooky.[ ] Left hallway, find the source of the fire.[ ] Right hallway, let's not burn up just yet.
>>31461175>[ ] Left hallway, find the source of the fire.
>>31461175[ ] Left hallway, find the source of the fire.we didn't start the fire
>>31461175>[x] Left hallway, find the source of the fire.Advance carefully. Cookies don't taste near as good when they're burned.
>>31461175>[ ] Left hallway, find the source of the fire.If Ogawa's already injured and where a fire is, she needs to not be there, probably.
>>31461175[ ] Right hallway, let's not burn up just yet.
Whatever the hell that was, it doesn't sound good. And you know for sure a fire isn't good either. If Ogawa's around here, hurt, then you definitely don't want her dealing with any of these alone. You dash down the hall, weapon at the ready. A T intersection is rather horrible to try and enter safely, but you give it your best anyway. You glance down the not-burning hall first, checking it for martians. Nothing. You glance into the flames. You nearly drop your gun. Two Martian corpses catch fire as they're tossed aside, “ears” and eyes blown out like the two before. Though flames dance around her, the figure in the center of the hall is hard to see. The lights have all shattered, and the twisting pattern of firelight dancing on her makes you take a few seconds to recognize her. Even from behind, you're fairly certain you know who that is. “Ogawa?” 'Ogawa' turns her head to look at you, a deadly calm expression on her face. Noticing you, you watch as it slowly turns into a slight smile.[ ] TOO SPOOKY TOO SPOOKY[ ] Confront her[ ] Write-in (this should always be assumed to be an option but whatever)
>>31461525>[x] Write-in"Ogawa, I want you to come with me. We'll get you some help, okay?"
>>31461525[x] Other"Good work, Ogawa. Have you seen our allied marine raiders?"
>>31461525Not really sure what to say/do here, whatever we do, we should do it carefully.
>>31461525>[ ] Confront her"Damnit, Ogawa! I dived after you fearing the worst, but instead I find you on above water getting your revenge. We're leaving now!'
Hmm...I'm not entirely sure how to interpret these results...
>>31461855I'm throwing in for the Hugs guy. You know what we must do, Kotters.
>>31461525>[x] Confront her
>>31461899Fuck it. We'll just hug her to death.
>>31461806Yeah, let's go with this.
Her lips part. “Cleona,” she greets. Her voice almost seems to freeze the flames with its chill. Ogawa's suit is torn up and singed, numerous small cuts on her exposed skin. She turns the rest of herself around, otherwise staying still. This isn't like the Ogawa you're used to. She seems more...focused. Sharped. Like a precariously-hung blade. “Natsumi,” you answer, your voice shakey. Ogawa doesn't respond, instead regarding you with a piercing gaze. If she thought anything of you, it doesn't show on her face. An awkward moment passes in which the flames grow hotter, now nearly cutting Ogawa off from the rest of the building. Then she smiles at you. A dangerous smile. A scary smile. She steps forward, walking through the flames as though they do not bother her. She only stops when she's face to face with you, staring into your eyes. Your heart races. Adrenaline pumps. Every cell in your body screams for you to get away. You have no idea what to say, what to expect. So you do the only thing you can do.
Wow, my joke HUGS vote is winning. I said it cause i though this girl was on FIRE. If she is, make it a forced stop drop and roll type of tackle hug.
>>31462190 You give her a hug. You pull her close, squeezing her. This is what the war's done. This is what you've done. You're responsible for shattering the last bits of her life, of her focus. And here she is, walking through fire as she slaughters Martians. You can't help but shed a tear. It shouldn't have been like this. An arm wraps around you. “I couldn't find her,” she whispers. “She wasn't here.” You're not sure where Harumi was supposed to be kept. Hell, if you remember correctly, the Raiders were supposed to just sweep the entire thing in their search. But that doesn't matter.[ ] It's ok. They'll find her. Let's get out of here.[ ] The Raiders can't be far. Let's find them.
>>31462196She's not literally on fire though. Just fire around her. She's not a fire witch!
>>31462213>[ ] The Raiders can't be far. Let's find them.THEN we find the girl.
>>31462213Oh man. Her sister was alive? Shit. Was there a time skip or what? Felt like I'm jumping in the middle of a movie or something.
>>31462213>[x] The Raiders can't be far. Let's find them.
>>31462213[x] The Raiders can't be far. Let's find them.
>>31462261Sorry. That was one of the things I was originally going to touch on if the original run had continued. It's explained in The Assault and in the Plot Summary.Socks' friend, the Warmind, eventually says he's turning coat. He arrives and is kept under guard, providing some intel. One of the pieces of information was that Di'id, the rogue martian commander, actually recovered Ogawa, too. However, she'd been kept separate. She was currently being kept on a base, guarded by a few Di'id loyalists, for use as a bargaining chip with the martian forces proper.No witch is to be left behind, and letting any Martian experiment on witches is a bad idea. So they launched an assault to recover her.
>>31462320>>31462261The Assault is posted here, by the way: http://swqu.net/board/swquwf/res/28.htmlAnd I'll put it on the pastebin here in a moment.
>>31462213>[X] The Raiders can't be far. Let's find them.Lets keep searching.
You let out a sigh of relief. “This place is huge, Ogawa. She could be anywhere.” You let her go, stepping back. Her face doesn't seem so deadly now, just...fragile. She's still wearing her arrogant facade, but... “Come on, we can go meet up with the Raiders. They'll have a better idea of where she is.” Ogawa closes her eyes. “I don't think...” “Ssshh. Come on. We need to get out of here anyway, alright?” She forces herself to nod. “Yes. Yes, of course.” She clenches her fists. “Alright, I think they should be-” With almost comic timing and conduct, the furthest down the burning hall busts open as several pumped Marines charge through. They move with exaggerated, cowboyish movements as though putting on a show. The show stops as one of them slips on the floor, crumpling to the ground. His two comrades laugh. “You dipshit, I told you this was a dumb idea.” “No, this was the best idea. Could you imagine the looks on the faces of those Squids if they'da been here?” “Could you imagine how much less pain you'd be in if you didn't convince us to do this?” “...Shut your face, ass.” “That's Lt. Ass to you.” They help the floored Marine up to his feet before noticing the two of you. “Oh, hey. You're not aliens.” “Damn right they're not. Too pretty to be one. Still not sure about you, Lt. Ass.” “You treat that title with some damned respect, Bill.” “Yessir.”[ ] Change of plans. Get out of there.[ ] Try to link up.
>>31462623>[X] Try to link up.Where have you guys searched?
>>31462623>[ ] Try to link up.more dudes is no bad thing, even if they are buffoons.
>>31462623>the furthest door downSorry. A little tired.
>>31462623>[ ] Try to link up.One of them is named Biggs, the other one is Piette, and the one that fell is Wedge, right?They'll be great for a distraction at least.
>>31463012Didn't Biggs die?
You look at Ogawa. “Well,” you manage, “at least they're human.” Ogawa nods slowly. “Hey!” you yell to them. “We're with the witch team that hit the harbor! You guys have any luck finding the prisoner?” You flinch slightly as Ogawa glares at you. Apparently she doesn't appreciate her sister being referred to as 'the prisoner.' Bill shrugs. “Dunno. Will, we got anything over the radio?” “You think we'd be busting down doors if I did?” “A simple 'no' would have been fine.” “Then no.” You sigh. “Where's the rest of the group? Can you get us out of here?” “Uh...Peter, where was the boss last?” Bill asks Lt. Ass. Peter shrugs. “No clue. You do realize that Will's radio pack got shot up earlier, right?” Bill stares daggers at Will. Will just shrugs. “You didn't ask.” Great. [ ] Take Charge[ ] Focus on Peter
>>31463171[x]Take charge[x]Focus on PeterDo both. They're not mutually exclusive.
>>31463250ack, I was doing so well too.
>>31463272Welp, no need for a vote then, do both. Continue the search.
>>31463171>[ ] Take Charge>[ ] Focus on PeterTake charge and get Peter to start getting his shit together.I hope these marines realize they've embarrassed themselves in front of a pair of Witches, and the Witches know it.
“Look,” you say, “we need to hook up with the rest of you guys and find Ogawa, then get out of here. Think you can do that, Peter?” “Sure thing, ma'am. Tweedledee, Tweedledum! We're heading back. Can you ladies get over here?” He gestures to the growing firewall. “Yeah...I think so,” you say. These are a bunch of old offices, you ought to be able to find a way around if you're quick. You and Ogawa take a door on the left and scramble through the non-flaming parts of the large room inside. Busting through what you think is the appropriate door, you find the Marines directly in front of you. “Yeah, like I said, we got it.” “Right. Well, this place is burning down, so let's head back,” Peter says, heading out the door they came in from. He leads everyone down another hallway, turning right and out another door. Night's fallen by now, the stars twinkling overhead. Now that you're deeper in the depot, you can see that the Marines have really done a number to the place. Several small buildings lay in ruins as flames overtake them, Martians scrambling everywhere like chickens with their heads cut off.
>>31463171Do this, that, and the other thing.
>>31463539 There's only one other large building in the place, however, and it seems to be somewhat surrounded by Marines. Convenient. You head on over, dodging a few of the more aggressive Martians on the way. And by aggressive, you mean the ones holding guns. As you make it to the building, there's an explosion. A hole appears in the side of it, not twenty feet away. A few men dash out of it, running like their lives depend on it. And indeed it does; Martian fire flies from the hole, several angry soldiers pursuing. The lead man carries... “Sis...!” Ogawa exclaims, bolting for her. This is bad; a hellstorm of bullets are between you and the men. And Ogawa's breakneck pace means you're unlikely to catch her before she hits it.[ ] ...Shoot her leg.[ ] Yell.[ ] Other.
GET THE FUCK DOWN.
>>31463554Can we still magic in this bitch? Is it possible to like, project a shield to cover Ogawa?
>>31463554>[ ] Other.Isn't there a backup Focus in the Sub Striker backpack unit? Can we run down Ogawa and project a shield to protect us?
>>31463694yeah, IIRC there is
The back unit of the substriker does include a focus. Ogawa's fast. If you run, you might be able to catch up enough to cover her with a shield at the same time. Or you might not.As for projecting a remote shield, well, let's just say that's not in the usual witch "arsenal." You can try it, but...
>>31463905I vote for running.Time to burn off all those brownies you ate, Cookie!
>>31463554Shoot at the aliens to suppress their fire?
Time to run like we've never run before.
>>31464077Martians don't fire bullets. The problem is the humans using suppressing fire against the Martian soldiers.Well, that's not completely true. The Martians are also firing their masers at the humans, so that's a problem too. And admittedly the Martians do use rocket launchers as their projectile infantry weaponry.
>>31464150They have masers? Shit...
>>31464176Personal infantry and squad support/crew-serviced versions. Also masers are the standard weapon of their fighters, in addition to unguided rockets and radar-seeking missiles.
>>31464259That's so unfair...
>>31464331They kind of need it since Strike Witches are basically Ace Combat Protagonist Aces in comparison to every other fighter, both Human and Martian.Witches have shields, guns that hit as hard as 20mm cannons and missiles, and maneuverability that won't be matched until 4.5 and 5th Generation fighters are built. Not to mention an extremely small target profile.
You bolt, sprinting harder than you've ever done in your life. Even over such a short distance, you feel a burn; your arm is still sliced, after all. But that doesn't matter right now. You've got to close some distance with Ogawa before she...she gets hit. It takes but a second or two. You focus, projecting as large a shield as you can, “OGAWA!” you yell, moving at incredible speed. You feel like you might topple over, legs not quite keeping up. But most importantly, you manage to cover most of Ogawa with your shield. But not all of her. She crumples as one of the Martians' gyrojet “bullets” deflects off the curved edge of the shield, clipping Ogawa's leg. She tumbles across their field of fire as you try to hit the brakes. You're going too fast. You turn your run into a leap, crashing into the hard concrete a short distance in front of Ogawa. But she's alive. You'll scold her later. Right now, however, shit hurts. A lot. You try to roll yourself over and sit up, but you must have hit something wrong on impact; you can only manage the turning over part. Oh yeah, by the way, you're supposed to breathe. You consciously draw a breath, surprised by how difficult it is. Then you exhale. Damn, must have fucked up your diaphragm...
>>31464530 Sounds of gunfire flood your ears as flashes of light blind you. The Marines are firing back, driving the Martians away. You smile. That's good. Yeah. Good. You'd breath a sigh of relief, but breathing at all is taking way too much concentration right now. A Marine enters your vision. He holds Ogawa. Eddie. “You look like you've been through hell, Chief,” he says with that casual smile of his. “I'm...a Lt. Cmdr...” you manage. He laughs. “Once a Chief, always a Chief.” His grin is really pissing you off; the damn Marine doesn't look like he's gotten a scratch.[ ] Fuck you, Eddie.[ ] Fuck you, Eddie.[ ] Other.
>>31464550>[ ] Other.Grow delirious, attempt kiss.
>>31464550>[x] Other.Fuck you, Eddie.
>>31464550>[x] Other.Fuck you, Krillin.[x]Fuck you, Eddie.
>>31464550>[x] Fuck you, Eddie.[x] And MEDIC!
>>31464584Only if we kiss Ogawa.
I, uh, should have made this more clear.Eddie's holding the rescued Ogawa, Harumi. Natsume's still behind you with a shot leg.
>>31464656I get the feeling we got shot too. D:
>>31464656>with a shot leg.It got hit with a gyrojet projectile; can the leg be saved?
>>31464656Damn people with the same names.Well then.[x]Other>Help reunite the Ogawas.
>>31464696>gyrojet projectileAren't they explosive shots?
If you could, you'd shake your head. “Fuck you, Eddie.” No matter what the Marine does, he seems to get away with it. You laugh. Well, that's good. At least you can still do that. “Now that's not a nice thing to say, Chief. Especially after I got you your girl back.” He hefts the elder Ogawa in his arms. Even in the horrible lighting, you can tell she's been through even worse than you. Dirty. Long, disheveled hair. Thin. Trembling. Clinging to Eddie like a hurt puppy. She's not the same person you briefly knew. “...Yeah, yeah, sorry. Now get us...a medic...before I kick your ass.” He smiles. “Sure thing, Chief. We'll get you two out.” He gestures, calling for that medic. The medic grimaces. “Eddie, you crazy bastard, I leave you alone for two seconds and...” His bantering is comforting. With any luck, the trip back will be a lot less eventful.---Thanks everyone for participating. It's been about a year since this last ran, I believe, and I ended it abruptly. I'm sorry for that, and don't plan to do that again. I've gotten a better response tonight than I think I've ever had with the old quest, and that means a lot to me. I'm going to be more open to feedback this time around and worry more about the quest itself than any kind of popularity.Feel free to contact me on twitter at @laoshanlong or on IRC in #swq on Rizon. I hope to see you folks next Sunday at the same time. Any updates on the run will be posted on Twitter! Thanks again!
>>31464754Martian technology is oddly misbalanced. They're miles ahead in areas relating to electromagnetism and radiation, but surprisingly backwards in areas of chemistry and the like. Their typical rifles fire miniature rockets similar to the old gyrojets. They do not explode.
>>31464904Thanks for writing again!
ok, someone crank out some lewds.
>>31464943Where did you get thatThat's too lewd to post!
>>31464904We began losing the eldar Ogawa and we came back with finding her. Amusing.
>>31465023Oh god I don't even remember, I saved it October 17, 2012 apparently.
>>31465054Its been a long time. I'm just glad to see an old favorite quest come back.
>>31465026It's a good thing we did, too. Though I'm not sure that'll ever get explained.>>31465054I must have posted it in a moment of weakness.By the way, in case someone somehow doesn't know, the OP and several of the other pieces of art are drawn by Deculture. Props to him.>>31465071>FavoriteY-you're just saying that!
>>31465092Told you it'd be fine.
>>31465117Hornet! You fucker! You're supposed to be working! What'd you think?
>>31465128Thanks for writing, gonna reread the archives again!
>>31465128I agree with your choice to start us here, I think readers like it when a quest has them making choices in stressful situations. If not like, then it's easier to get folks invested with some solid action. It's a good way to get back into the game, I think.We'll talk about it when I can come back to the IRC again.
>>31465206No problem!>>31465231Cool. I'm looking forward to it.'night, everyone!
>>314570924chan should have a board that is just for quest threads.